Speaking to reporters on September 27, McDaniel noted how the Bills’ defense wasn’t getting enough praise after recording nine sacks and forcing five turnovers against the Washington Commanders last week, and brushed off calling their Week 4 game a “revenge” match.
“If you need to be motivated for a game like this, check your pulse,” McDaniel said. “Or maybe consider a career adjustment… [Buffalo has] earned the right to be a division champ for several years and continue to play at a high level. I think it’s a very, very difficult challenge that I think our players are pumped for. You sign up to play the best and I think they fit that.”
On Sunday, October 1, but the Bills crushed the Dolphins 48-20. After the game, McDaniel went to shake Bills head coach Sean McDermott‘s hand and whispered a message into his ear. The audio was not captured on the broadcast, however, viewers lip-reading McDaniel’s comment believe he gave McDermott a hard-hitting, NSFW compliment.
One fan posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that McDaniel said, “Unbelievable job today. I respect the f*** out of you.”
During the postgame press conference, the 40-year-old coach gave the Bills their due. “First off, I think the Buffalo Bills proved why they are the team that our whole division is trying to beat. They’ve won it for how many years in a row now.”
The Dolphins will look to even the score when the two AFC East rivals play again on January 7, 2024. “It’s a division loss on the road and that will always hurt,” McDaniel admitted, “especially against the team that you feel like going into it you’re capable of putting together a better performance than that. It’s all about how you respond to everything.”
Sean McDermott Credited Bills Mafia for Their ‘Deafening’ Noise
While Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill said the crowd at Highmark Stadium “wouldn’t be different” from any other away game, per Pro Football Network, and called the Buffalo’s fanbase “just like any other fanbase,” Bills Mafia turned things up in Orchard Park.
After the game, McDermott told reporters he needed to use hand signals to communicate with middle linebacker Terrel Bernard while the Dolphins’ offense was on the field. “TB couldn’t hear me,” McDermott said.
“I’ve been in the league a long time, and I don’t think I’ve heard a crowd that loud in my time in the NFL,” McDermott said. “Playoff games whatever it is, that’s as loud as it gets. I don’t know that, in our world, it can get any louder. It sounded like jet engines out there. It really did. It was deafening.”
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, unlike Hill, acknowledged heading into Sunday’s matchup that Bills Mafia can make Highmark Stadium a “very hostile” but “always fun” environment.
He said during the postgame press conference, “It was tough to hear numbers Mike had been telling me prior to the crowd noise, and the crowd noise was really loud,” but refused to use that as an excuse for their loss.
“That’s also a me thing, understanding the game plan, knowing the game plan, knowing what we want to get done. And then situational awareness with our plays that we want to run, so that’s on my part.”
Dolphins Defense Had No Answer for Josh Allen
Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio could not figure out a way to contain quarterback Josh Allen. Allen completed 21-of-25 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns, along with four runs for 17 yards, 1 rushing score, and zero interceptions. He earned a 158.3 rating, “the highest attainable mark in a single game,” per NFL 365
As wide receiver Stefon Diggs, he caught six passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Gabe Davis caught three passes and a touchdown. Running back James Cook had 12 rushes for 29 yards and a touchdown, along with one reception for 48 yards.
The Bills defense also deserves a lot of credit for keeping Tagovailoa to just 282 yards and one touchdown, a far cry from the 309 yards and four touchdowns he tallied against the Denver Broncos last week. While Tagovailoa went into Week 4 only having been sacked once, Buffalo sacked him four times and tallied nine quarterback hits.